1977: Movies Sorted By Tier
Submitted by jim on Tue, 10/19/2004 - 11:10
Annie Hall... Dammit. I loved this enough now, and Manhattan enough a couple months ago, that now I have to wonder if I should revisit all those other Woody Allen movies that left me cold. I think Manhattan does relationships a bit better, but this one rings the bell pretty regularly too, and this is the first Woody Allen movie to not only make me laugh out loud, but to light me up more than once. I read that this movie serves as a best-of-both-worlds film, combining his earlier bizarre and at-times slapsticky humor with his later works of greater characterization. Sounds pretty good to me, and I'd like to think I would have observed that myself if I hadn't stumbled upon the review. Ah well, next time I'll just lie and plagarize.
Star Wars... The more Lucas pisses me off the harder it is not to demote this. Still no reservations about Empire though.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Duellists... Napoleonic officer Harvey Keitel gets it in his head that fellow officer Keith Carradine has offended his perverse sense of honor, and the two engage in a years-long series of duels, ranging across different fronts of the war and different weapons. Like Ridley Scott's subsequent two masterpieces, emotion is spare and the action is driven by situation and great cinematography. The duellists themselves are enigmatic almost to the point of inpenetrability, so I really don't know how Scott managed to keep me engrossed, but he did. It's a fine line he treads between human and robotic (making his doing Bladerunner oh-so-appropriate), so it's no wonder he started falling off it more later in his career.
Sorcerer... How is it that William Friedkin does these three movies in a row: The French Connection, The Exorcist, and Sorcerer, and everybody has heard of the first two but nobody (including myself, until recently) has heard of the third? You've got a great director at the top of his game, Roy Scheider following up The French Connection (Oscar-nominated), Jaws, and Marathon Man, and a screenplay by Walon Green (The Wild Bunch). Filmed on location all over the place. A unbelievable trucks-over-a-rope-bridge stunt. And it's *good*. While perhaps not as groundbreaking (?) or overtly philosophical as Wages of Fear, it's just as suspenseful (if not more so), well-acted, and dark. I'm baffled as to it's disappearance from cinematic consciousness. Is it because it's a remake? Because it has an incongruous title? I dunno. I'm open to the possibility that I was alone in my ignorance of this movie, but that seems unlikely.
Glad I Saw
- None Yet
The Kentucky Fried Movie
Smokey and the Bandit
Could Have Missed
Slapshot... An on-the-way-out hockey team finds new life by brawling their way through games. Quirky characters abound. The finale goes a good way toward redeeming this movie, but for me the rest of it was too dated to be enjoyable. Newman's trademark antihero character wears thin here. I'm glad I watched it, but I can't go so far as to recommend it.
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Saturday Night Fever
The Spy Who Loved Me
Should Have Missed
- None Yet
El Sucko Grande
- None Yet